They’re baaaaack! THE KINSEY REPORT, Indiana’s first family of the blues, is back in a big way with “Still Standing,” a four-song EP on the group’s own label, RDK Records.
The songs featured on this much too short collection show the Kinsey brothers -- Donald (guitar), Ralph (drums) and Kenneth (bass) -- to be in fine musical form after a fourteen year hiatus from recording together.
The Gary, Indiana-born and bred group evolved from being back-up band to their famous blues-belting father, Big Daddy Kinsey, to become one of the most acclaimed and promising blues-rock firebrands of the late 1980s and 1990s through a series of powerful albums via such top labels as Alligator and Point Blank/Capitol Records.
After a much too long absence during which they each pursued various projects, the musical siblings have proved with “Still Standing,” that the sum is greater than the parts.
Not only have the Kinseys found their way back to each other and back to the recording studio, but they have returned to their musical roots – from the gospel roots of granddaddy Lester Kinsey, Sr. (once pastor of Gary’s Chase Street Church of God in Christ) on the song “Nobody’s Fault,” to the electric blues roots of their years with Big Daddy with the instrumental “Boogie Diddlin’,” to the funky rock-blues sound The Kinsey Report created during their recording heyday of the early 1990s on “That’s It.”
Although each of those three songs impress, the best of the bunch is the newly written title track – “Still Standing (I’ll Be)” – with inspiring lyrics like “defeat is not an option/I’m standing on solid ground” addressing triumph over troubled times.
While production quality could have been a little better as the sound is a little thin throughout, “Still Standing” is a welcome return for Gary’s prodigal sons of the blues, because it’s a promise of more to come from this band of brothers.
• A recording of “Master Plan,” an original song by Northwest Indiana’s DARREN ENLOE BAND was checked out by “The Local Scene” this week. With its mournful vocals and tasty picking, this sparse acoustic tune about loneliness, longing and heartache has a strong Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam influence and suggests Enloe and company are off to a strong start on their first recording project.
• Chicago-based rock duo – THADDEUS PROJECT – has released the sixth career album for their decade-long career. “Sweet Dreams” is an eight song collection of original songs deserving of attention. Although this writer has enjoyed earlier TP albums, this one the best overall effort to date from the creative partnership of TP’s guitarists/composers TED PUTBRESS and GLENN FOLWARSKI.
The talented twosome’s flowing prog-rock meets folk-rock sound is accented perfectly with lead vocals by Folwarski that are reminiscent of vintage Cat Stevens with just a hint of Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward.
A wonderful collection with highlights being “Rain on the Roses,” “Ghost of Dawn” (featuring backing vocals from Tiffany Rafdahl), and an exquisite classical guitar instrumental “Walk in the Breeze.” Learn more and hear the music at: www.thadeusproject.com
• Lakeshore Public Radio’s locally-produced radio program “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges” has an expanded 2-hour holiday special airing first this Friday (12-20) and again on Christmas Eve (12-24).
“Midwest BEAT’s “Home For The Holidays: Celebrity Memories & Music” will featured a variety of musical celebrities sharing Christmas memories and songs of the season. Among the celebs featured are country artists Charlie Daniels, Brenda Lee, Richard Sterban (Oak Ridge Boys), R&B singers Peabo Bryson and Gary U.S. Bonds, classic rockers Edgar Winter, Gunnar Nelson, Ricky Phillips (Styx), Roger Earl (Foghat) and Jim Peterik (Ides of March), along with new 15-year-old national pop star Courtney Rau. The program airs both nights at 6pm CST on 89.1FM and streamed live at: www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/radio.
• Chicago was his kind of town and Jack Daniel’s was his kind of whiskey. Because FRANK SINATRA was famous for requesting two fingers of the world famous spirit on the rocks with a splash of water, Jack Daniel’s Distillery has honored the late crooner by creating “Sinatra Select,” an ultra-premium blend now available only in select U.S. cities with a close connection to Ol’ Blue Eyes -- Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami and Los Angeles – as well as the singer’s entire home state of New Jersey and the distillery’s home state of Tennessee.
“This fine Tennessee Whiskey, or Old No. 7 as he referred to it, was a favorite part of my father’s life and he loved sharing it with his friends and introducing it to new acquaintances,” said Frank Sinatra, Jr. “I feel the introduction of the Sinatra Select is an appropriate tribute as we near my father’s 100th birthday.” Cost for a 90 proof a Sinatra Select box is $165.